Human trafficking affects more than 25 million people every year
Is a form of modern slavery—a multi-billion dollar criminal industry that denies freedom to 20.9 million people around the world.
And no matter where you live, chances are it's happening nearby. From the girl forced into prostitution at a truck stop, to the man discovered working for a gardening company, stripped of his passport and held against his will. All trafficking victims share one essential experience: the loss of freedom.
million people around the world.
million slaves in the world today.
of trafficking involves sexual exploitation
involves labor exploitation
What Is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is modern-day slavery and involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.
Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked in countries around the world, including the United States. It is estimated that human trafficking generates many billions of dollars of profit per year, second only to drug trafficking as the most profitable form of transnational crime.
Human trafficking is a hidden crime as victims rarely come forward to seek help because of language barriers, fear of the traffickers, and/or fear of law enforcement.
Traffickers use force, fraud, or coercion to lure their victims and force them into labor or commercial sexual exploitation. They look for people who are susceptible for a variety of reasons, including psychological or emotional vulnerability, economic hardship, lack of a social safety net, natural disasters, or political instability. The trauma caused by the traffickers can be so great that many may not identify themselves as victims or ask for help, even in highly public settings.
Facts About Human Trafficking
Globally, the average cost of a slave is $90.
Trafficking primarily involves exploitation which comes in many forms, including: forcing victims into prostitution, subjecting victims to slavery or involuntary servitude and compelling victims to commit sex acts for the purpose of creating pornography.
According to some estimates, approximately 80% of trafficking involves sexual exploitation, and 19% involves labor exploitation.
There are approximately 20 to 30 million slaves in the world today.
According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children.
The average age a teen enters the sex trade in the U.S. is 12 to 14-year-old. Many victims are runaway girls who were sexually abused as children.
California harbors 3 of the FBI’s 13 highest child sex trafficking areas on the nation: Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego.
The National Human Trafficking Hotline receives more calls from Texas than any other state in the US. 15% of those calls are from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
Between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S. each year.
Human trafficking is the third largest international crime industry (behind illegal drugs and arms trafficking). It reportedly generates a profit of $32 billion every year. Of that number, $15.5 billion is made in industrialized countries.
The International Labour Organization estimates that women and girls represent the largest share of forced labor victims with 11.4 million trafficked victims (55%) compared to 9.5 million (45%) men.
Sex trafficking, one specific type of human trafficking, occurs when people are forced or coerced into the commercial sex trade against their will. Adults or children can be victims of sex trafficking. Child sex trafficking includes any child involved in commercial sex. Sex traffickers frequently target vulnerable people with histories of abuse and then use violence, threats, lies, false promises, debt bondage, or other forms of control and manipulation to keep victims trapped.
Sex trafficking happens within the larger commercial sex trade (prostitution, pornography), often at much larger rates than most people realize or understand. Sex trafficking has been found in venues scattered across the overall sex industry, including residential brothels, hostess clubs, online escort services, fake massage businesses, strip clubs, and street prostitution.
Internationally, a common scheme to seduce women is to promise them jobs overseas as waitresses or domestic servants. Once out of the country and away from their family, traffickers take victims' passports and subject them to beatings or rape to force them into their new "job."
While the dark world of international sex trafficking is becoming a hot topic in our culture, many people remain unaware that sex trafficking isn't just an international problem. Sex trafficking is happening in our own backyards – whether you live in rural America or in a big city, you might be surprised to find that it’s happening in your neighborhoods and communities. The commercial exploitation of children is a particularly growing problem in the U.S.
Labor trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which individuals perform labor or services through the use of force, fraud, or coercion.
Labor trafficking includes situations of debt bondage, forced labor, and involuntary child labor. Labor traffickers use violence, threats, lies, and other forms of coercion to force people to work against their will in many industries.
Common types of labor trafficking include people forced to work in homes as domestic servants, farmworkers coerced through violence as they harvest crops, or factory workers held in inhumane conditions with little to no pay.
Recognize The Signs
Common Work and Living Conditions:
Is not free to leave or come and go as he/she wishes
Is in the commercial sex industry and has a pimp / manager
Is unpaid, paid very little, or paid only through tips
Works excessively long and/or unusual hours
Is not allowed breaks or suffers under unusual restrictions at work
Owes a large debt and is unable to pay it off
Was recruited through false promises concerning the nature and conditions of his/her work
High security measures exist in the work and/or living locations (e.g. opaque windows, boarded up windows, bars on windows, barbed wire, security cameras, etc.)
Poor Mental Health or Abnormal Behavior:
Is fearful, anxious, depressed, submissive, tense, or nervous/paranoid
Exhibits unusually fearful or anxious behavior after bringing up law enforcement
Avoids eye contact
Poor Physical Health:
Lacks medical care and/or is denied medical services by employer
Appears malnourished or shows signs of repeated exposure to harmful chemicals
Shows signs of physical and/or sexual abuse, physical restraint, confinement, or torture
Lack of Control:
Has few or no personal possessions
Is not in control of his/her own money, no financial records, or bank account
Is not in control of his/her own identification documents (ID or passport)
Is not allowed or able to speak for themselves (a third party may insist on being present and/or translating)
Claims of just visiting and inability to clarify where he/she is staying/address
Lack of knowledge of whereabouts and/or of what city he/she is in
Loss of sense of time
Has numerous inconsistencies in his/her story
Note: According to federal law, any minor under the age of 18 engaging in commercial sex is a victim of sex trafficking, regardless of the presence of force, fraud, or coercion.
If you believe you are a victim of human trafficking or may have information about a potential trafficking situation, please contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline: 1-888-373-7888.
If you or someone you know is in immediate danger, please call 911.